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Halfus Wyrmbreaker Healer Strategy Guide

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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Halfus Wyrmbreaker in Bastion of Twilight. It is mostly targeted to healers who desire to have a short but detailed overview of what is expected of them during that fight.

This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.

As a healer, the difficulty of the fight will greatly vary depending on whether you are tank healing or raid healing, and on the strategy your raid leader will decide to adopt. Indeed, it is possible, in most cases, to trade raid damage for tank damage, and vice versa.

1. Overview of the Fight↑top

Halfus is keeping 5 captive drakes. Each of them grants him a different buff or ability. When a drake is released, he debuffs Halfus (as a token of gratitude) in order to mitigate the buff he gives him. Both the buff and the debuff persist through the entire fight. After a drake is released, Halfus binds him to his will, forcing him to attack your raid. You can then either kill the drake or off-tank him. When a drake dies, Halfus receives a stack of Dragon's Vengeance, increasing damage done to him.

The mechanics of the fight revolve around which drakes are available for release. Each week, you will have a combination of 3 drakes active, the other two being inactive (not buffing Halfus) and not releasable. The hard part of the fight will invariably be the beginning, when the drakes are released. Once they are dead, the encounter becomes much easier.

Your raid leader will decide to release the drakes in a specific order, based on your raid setup and the drakes available. Based on that decision, there will be more raid damage, or more tank damage, and your assignments will be given accordingly.

This fight is a sort of a gear check and will mostly test your ability to deal with heavy damage in the first minute of the fight. There are also some Fireballs thrown at the raid, which can be avoided in certain cases.

2. Enemies↑top

2.1. Halfus Wyrmbreaker

By default, Halfus has the following abilities:

  • A melee attack, which hits for about 20,000 damage every 1.6 second (in both 10-man and 25-man difficulties);
  • Furious Roar, which Halfus always casts 3 times in quick succession and that stuns the raid for 2 seconds. This ability is enabled only after Halfus' health reaches below 50%.

2.2. Proto-Behemoth

Halfus' side-kick, the Proto-Behemoth, has only one ability by default: Fireball, which he casts at a random raid member every two seconds. It deals Fire damage (20,400 to 27,600 in 10-man and 34,000 to 46,000 in 25-man) to everyone standing within 4 yards of the targeted party member. Even though the spot where a Fireball will land is clearly marked with a fire circle, the Fireball travels too fast to be dodged.

This enemy is neither tanked or attacked for the entire duration of the fight.

2.3. Drakes

On the platform where Halfus is fought, there are 5 captive drakes:

3 of the 5 drakes are active. The 3 active drakes change every week. A drake interacts with the fight in three ways:

  • An active drake provides a buff to Halfus or his Proto-Behemoth for the entire duration of the fight (i.e., from start to finish). That buff persists through the death of the drake.
  • A drake is released when a player right-clicks it, which triggers a 1.5 second cast. When released, a drake gives Halfus or his Proto-Behemoth a debuff (which aims at mitigating the effect of the buff the drake gives), which will last until the fight is over (so, it persists through the death of the drake). A released drake needs to be tanked because it deals melee damage every 1.5 to 2 seconds (about 35k in 10-man and 50k in 25-man).
  • When a drake is killed by the raid, it gives Halfus a stack of Dragon's Vengeance. Therefore, when all drakes are dead, Halfus will take 300% increased damage (if you release and kill all 3 drakes, that is).

The drakes' melee attacks deal 25,000 to 30,000 damage in 10-man difficulty and 40,000 to 60,000 damage in 25-man difficulty.

2.3.1. Nether Scion

When active, Nether Scion provides Halfus with Frenzied Assault, which increases his attack speed.

When released, Nether Scion debuffs Halfus with Nether Blindness, which more than mitigates the effects of Frenzied Assault.

2.3.2. Slate Dragon

When active, Slate Dragon provides Halfus with Malevolent Strikes. This enables Halfus to apply Malevolent Strikes, a healing debuff, on his target, whenever he performs a melee attack that deals damage (a normal attack, a blocked attack or an absorbed attack). Therefore, Halfus will not apply Malevolent Strikes following a melee attack which was dodged, parried or missed. Nether Blindness from the Nether Scion causes 25% of the application of Malevolent Strikes to fail, in addition to causing 25% of his melee attacks to fail.

When released, Slate Dragon debuffs Halfus with Stone Touch. This debuff stuns Halfus for 12 seconds approximately every 30 seconds, which makes it easier for the tanks to drop their stacks of the healing debuff, or for the healers to top off everyone.

2.3.3. Storm Rider

When active, Storm Rider provides Halfus with Shadow Wrapped, which grants him a new ability: Shadow Nova.

When released, Storm Rider debuffs Halfus with Cyclone Winds. This debuff increases the cast time of Shadow Nova, making it interruptible.

2.3.4. Time Warden

When active, Time Warden grants the Proto-Behemoth a new ability: Fireball Barrage. This ability launches 20 fast-travelling Fireballs over 15 seconds at random raid members, and occurs every 20 to 25 seconds. The gap between each Fireball Barrage is filled by a few Fireballs cast with a 2 second interval.

When released, Time Warden debuffs the Proto-Behemoth with Time Dilation, which decreases the travel speed of the Fireballs to such an extent that they can now easily be dodged, provided that raid members are quick enough to move from the fire circles marking the spots where the Fireballs are to land.

2.3.5. Orphaned Emerald Whelps

When active, the Orphaned Emerald Whelps grant the Proto-Behemoth a new ability: Scorching Breath. This ability casts a breath attack that deals unavoidable raid-wide damage every second for 8 seconds. It occurs approximately every 20 to 30 seconds, alternating with Fireballs. If Time Warden is also active, Scorching Breath alternates with Fireball Barrage and a few regular Fireballs.

When released, the Orphaned Emerald Whelps debuff the Proto-Behemoth with Atrophic Poison. This will rapidly stack 8 times, bringing a reduction of 6,000 damage on every ability the Proto-Behemoth casts at the raid.

3. Strategy↑top

The hard part of the encounter is that of the raid leader who must decide in what order to release the drakes, who tanks what, who heals whom, and what must die first. Once this has been decided and your healing assignment has been given to you, the fight is very straightforward.

Simply heal your assignment. Expect your assignment to take a brutal amount of damage during the first minute of the fight, while the first drake is being killed. After that, the fight becomes easier and less strenuous, so do not hesitate to burn a lot of mana at the start.

You also need to take into account the various drakes available and whether they have been released:

  • If Nether Scion is active but not released, expect Halfus' tank to take increased damage.
  • If Slate Dragon is active, Halfus' tank will be building up stacks of Malevolent Strikes. At some point, that tank will be relieved from their Halfus' tanking duty to enable them to drop their stacks. When that happens, make sure that the tanks with stacks of Malevolent Strikes does not die, but if they do not take damage, then do not top them off, as you would mostly be wasting mana.
  • If Time Warden is active but not released, if Storm Rider is active but not released, or if the Orphaned Emerald Whelps are active, then expect high raid-wide AoE damage.
  • If Time Warden is active and released (or dead), make sure you move out of the fire circles which indicate incoming Fireballs.

4. Heroic Mode↑top

In Heroic Mode, all 5 drakes will be active, forcing your group to release at least 3 of them at the beginning of the fight. This results in more tank damage than in Normal mode.

Besides the boss and the drakes having more health points and the abilities dealing more damage, healers will be particularly interested in the following changes between Normal and Heroic mode:

  • In 25-man Heroic mode only, Halfus melee attacks deal more damage than in Normal mode (about 35,000, up from 15,000).
  • In 10-man Heroic mode, the melee attacks of the drakes hit for less than in Normal mode (about 20,000, down from 25,000 to 30,000).
  • In 25-man Heroic Mode, the melee attacks of the drakes hit for more than in Normal mode (about 60,000 to 80,000, up from 40,000 to 60,000).
  • Malevolent Strikes now decreases healing received by 8% by stack (up from 6%).

The fight is the same as in Normal mode, just that there will be more damage to heal, due to more drakes being released, more healing reduction from Malevolent Strikes, and deadlier raid-wide damaging abilities. Therefore, you need to use your abilities perfectly, in order to keep the raid or the tanks alive during the intense first minute of the fight.

5. Tips and Tricks↑top

All the tips and tricks described in this section apply to all difficulties of the fight. In Normal mode, you can certainly defeat the encounter without using them, unlike in Heroic mode, where they are pretty much mandatory.

Atonement Icon Atonement healing is a crucial part of this fight (at least in Heroic mode) for Discipline Priests. As soon as the first drake is down, Discipline Priests should start casting Smite Icon Smite at Halfus, healing the nearby raid member with the lowest health for the amount that Smite did on Halfus. Halfus takes increasing damage as the drakes die, so that healing method will become more and more effective as the fight goes on.

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